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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Mar;161(3):270-5.

Effect of booster seat laws on appropriate restraint use by children 4 to 7 years old involved in crashes.

Author information

1
Center for Injury Research and Prevention, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Flaura@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To quantify the independent contribution of recently enacted booster seat laws on appropriate restraint use by child passengers in motor vehicles.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal study of children involved in crashes with data collected via insurance claims records and a validated telephone survey.

SETTING:

Sixteen states and Washington, DC, from December 1, 1998, through December 31, 2004.

PARTICIPANTS:

Probability sample of 5198 vehicles in crashes involving 6102 children aged 4 to 7 years, representing 78 159 vehicles and 91 752 children.

MAIN EXPOSURES:

Booster seat law provisions, child age, state, and secular trends.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Reported appropriate restraint use for this age group, including forward-facing child safety seats, belt-positioning booster seats, and combination seats.

RESULTS:

Children aged 4 to 7 years in states with booster seat laws were 39% more likely to be reported as appropriately restrained than were children in other states (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-1.70). Children aged 4 to 5 years were 23% more likely (PR,1.23; 95% CI, 0.80-1.42) and children 6 to 7 years twice as likely (PR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.46-2.99) to be reported as appropriately restrained. For children aged 6 to 7 years, when compared with no law, laws through age 7 years were most effective (PR, 3.71; 95% CI, 2.49-5.42), followed by laws through age 4 or 5 years (PR, 1.43; 95% CI, 0.89-2.24).

CONCLUSION:

Given the higher current use of age-appropriate restraints among children 4 to 5 years compared with older children, future upgrades to child restraint laws should include children through at least age 7 years to maximize the number of children properly restrained for their age.

PMID:
17339508
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.161.3.270
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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